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Equines in India

(Indian Council of Agricultural Research)

Equines in India
Horses According to the National Commission on Agriculture (1976), horses in India can be placed broadly in two classes viz. the slow moving pack ponies and the fast running saddle horses used for riding or for drawing carriages. The indigenous breeds of horses/ponies include Marwari, Kathiawari, Manipuri, Spiti, Bhutia and Zanskari. Among these, Marwari and Kathiawari are considered as 2 distinct breeds or types although they have several characteristics in common. Kathiawar (Gujarat) and Rajasthan are the homes of Kathiawari and Marwari breeds, respectively. These breeds have been selected both for utility and beauty. Bhutia, Spiti and Zanskari ponies, mainly found in the hilly areas of Himalayan ranges are slow moving horses. The Manipuri horses having qualities of both hill and plain breeds of horses have been bred over centuries in the Manipur area of the northeast. Manipuri horses reputed for their intelligence are used for polo and racing. Three other breeds of India namely Deccani, Chummarti and Sikang are considered to be on the verge of extinction. The exotic breeds of horses introduced in India include English thoroughbred, Water, Arab, Polish, Connemera and Halflinger. The Arab, the first to be introduced,is believed to have contributed substantially for the evolution of Kathiawari, Marwari, Sindhi, Malani and Manipuri horses. It is believed that all the indigenous breeds of the horses are rapidly deteriorating in quality as a result of lack of organized systematic breeding and availability of good specimen animals. Unless huge financial commitment is made, there is a possibility of the breeds losing their identity even in their Breeding Tract of Horses in India home tract. More>>


heart girth and paunch girth. big nostrils. The horses are nervous in temperament. Spiti Horses The Spiti horses are distributed in Spiti valley and adjoining areas of Kullu and Kinnaur divisions of Himachal Pradesh. The most prominent body colour in Kathiawari horses is chestnut followed by bay (body chestnut. 166-175 cm heart girth. The tail length without switch is 42 cm. erect ears. The horses are known for their ability to work. The Spiti horses are hardy and surefooted. The predominant body colour is grey followed by black and copper. low temperature and long journeys at high altitude. Hairs of tail and neck are black). long and straight tail. not bushy. Marwari Horses The Marwari breed is derived from the Marwar region of the Rajasthan . long and glossy. grey (complete white colour) and dun (light chestnut).8/12/2011 Equines in India 1. 4. convex face. run adequately and carry loads at high altitude. 147 cm height and 160 cm heart girth. Solid and compact body. They are capable of thriving in cold regions under adverse conditions of scarcity of food. Body is well developed with fairly strong bones. foot note. 152-160 cm height. fine and curved upright ears on 90 degrees axis that can rotate at 180 degrees. The Spiti horses are used for riding and as pack animals. page 97). Kathiawari Horses The superintendent of Gaekwar Contingent in 1880 suggested that the Kathiawari breed may have sprung from the wild horses of Kathiawar (a sort of Quagga. Surendranagar Junagarh and Amreli districts of Gujarat. foot round and broad. The average face length and width are 53 and 21 cm. straight back. well built and 120 to 140 cm high. short leg and squared quarters. edge of nostril is thin. black eyes. These horses are smaller in height. The mane is longer having 20 to 30 cm long hairs. Zanskari Horses Zanskari horses are available in Leh and Laddakh area of Jammu and Kashmir. Only a few hundred http://nrce. heavy and long tail and uniform gait. Kathiawari. 15 cm long ear. The average ear length is 15 cm. The Spiti ponies have two strains. The breeding tract of the breed is Saurashtra province of Gujarat which comprises of Rajkot. The physical characteristics of Kathiawari horses are concave profile. brown and bay. The Zanskari horses have predominant eyes. The Marwari horses have 130-140 cm long body. The predominant body colour is grey (complete white) followed by black. Spiti pure and Konimare. The Konimare ponies are comparatively taller. 22 cm face width. More>> 3. It has been observed that females have shorter body. Jalor. small. Tail is long.htm 2/5 . The predominant body colour is brown where as other body colours are roan. The legs are thick and covered with long coarse hairs. alert looking and short height are some of the important breed characteristics. Bombay Gazette. Horses are medium in size. Jodhpur and Rajasamand districts of Rajasthan and some adjoining areas of Gujarat. white and black with white patches. The Spiti horses have on average 97 cm body length. Keshwali black. The Marwari horses are reared mainly for riding and sports and no attempts are being made to prepare them as thoroughbred race animals. Kathiawari horses have on an average 119 cm long body. The Marwar region includes Udaipur. triangular from pale to forehead and small muzzle. Foreleg up to knee and fetlock are black. broad forehead and large expressive sensitive eyes.the natural habitat of the breed. Bhavnagar. 150 cm paunch girth. The body hairs are fine. 18 cm ear length and 47 cm tail length without switch. curved well and touching to the ground. The Marwari horses are longer and taller than Kathiawari horses. respectively. 49 cm face length and 20 cm face width. 2. 60 cm face length. chestnut.nic. 127 cm height. Face is dry and short. black flay bone (white body with black patches). long neck.

Roan.e. They are found in Manipur and Assam.nic. Black. they can take more abuse and punishment than the horse. The hair on mane and tail are very scanty and there is a brush like switch at the end of the tail. of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Bhutia Horses Bhutia horses are distributed in Sikkim and Darjeeling. Consequently. eyes are alert and slightly slant . Jacks also have a characteristic bray. Large scale breeding with non descript ponies has endangered this breed. Sinai White. 5. long and well sprung ribs. Jacks and their mule offspring have well-muscled. Mules fit well in different agricultural operations. The smaller size ones are dark grey in colour.htm 3/5 . They are dark red brown with white underparts and patch behind the shoulder. Indian wild asses are available in Rann of Kutch while Kiang are available in Sikkim and Laddakh. It has close association with the socioeconomic life of the people of hilly region through travel. The ass was first domesticated in the valley of the Nile. The breed is available in 14 different colours viz Bay. those of larger size and smaller size are common. The modern domesticated asses have mainly descended from the Nubian race. Indian. Jacks lack apparent muscling. The greatest contribution to animal husbandry that ass has made is the production of mules. transport and hunting. The larger size donkeys are light grey to almost white in colour. Leiphon white. It is a strong and hardy breed and has very good adaptability to extreme geo-climatic conditions. Though grey colour predominates but black. Face is concave and tail is well set and commensurate with height. It has small pointed prsicked ears. Three wild races of asses were observed: North-East African race (Nubia). and are similar to the south-east Asian type pony. well developed quarters and strong limbs. It is a matter of concern that the number of Manipuri has decreased drastically. white and even piebald asses can be seen. Mane is generally coarse and upright. The ass is indisputably one of the most useful animals and is available everywhere. The asses have several features that differ from horses. As per latest data the population of Manipuri pony is 2327 only. FAO has reported three distinct types of Indian asses viz. and at Equine Breeding Farms of the Army. Donkeys/Asses It is considered that asses are of purely African origin. light gray. Manipuri ponies are intelligent and extremely tough. one of the most noticeable characteristics is longer and much larger ears of asses. immediate attention and efforts are required to conserve this precious breed of ponies in India. which is a decidedly in contrast to the whinney of the horse. North-East African race (Sudan) and Somalian race (Somali-land). http://nrce. Mora white. The pony undoubtly played significant role in the field of war and play. two major types of donkeys area between the nostrils is flat not crispy. 6. and have tremendous endurance. Good quality donkey stallions of exotic breed obtained from France and other European countries are maintained by NRCE. Among Indian. Reddish brown and dark bay. Gray. have larger bone and joints but smaller rounder feet than the horses. broader loins. State Animal husbandry Deptt. Indian wild and Kiang. Manipuri Horses Manipuri breed of ponies is one of the purest and prestigious breed of equines of India. Perhaps all these good qualities made it suitable for polo game for which it is globally famous. Stocking. They are usually grey or bay coloured and similar to the Tibetan pony.Generally the Manipuri ponies are of 11-13 hands high at wither with a good shoulder. Withers are not prominent. Jammu and Kashmir has recently established a Zanskari horse Breeding farm at Padum Zanskar in Kargil district of Ladakh for breed improvement and conservation through selective breeding.8/12/2011 Equines in India horses at present exist in the Zanskar and other valleys of Laddakh. It is one of the well-known breeds of India and has been claimed as the oldest polo pony. The Animal Husbandry Department. short back. liver chestnut.

8/12/2011 Equines in India Indian Donkeys Distribution of Donkeys in India Indian Wild Ass Mules The mules are most useful pack and transport animals as they play important role. It has size. is to tease mares with a stallion and allow the jack to serve a properly restrained mare so that she will stand for the jack. along with the surefooted-ness. Mares used in mule production are of no fixed http://nrce. Breeders of work horses usually take particular care in choosing good mares for breeding purposes but ordinarily mule breeders make no consistent effort in selecting mares for production of mules.nic. breeding of mares and crossing of jack with mare. The production of mules involve three steps: the breeding of jack stock for use as stallion. The mule combines some of the superior qualities of both horses and speed strength and spirit of the horse. One of the biggest difficulties in mule production is to locate a fertile jack that can quickly serve. Only sound broodmares of good quality should be selected for providing high-grade mules. lack of excitability. endurance and ability to thrive on poor feed.htm 4/5 . both in the military establishments as well as in civilian occupations particularly in hills. The most common practice however.

Oh my master Do not sell me to slavery and a cruel end http://nrce. The pastern shows moderate length. short and strong dense and sound.nic. The draft mules measure 155 to 172 cm in height and weigh from 450 to 650 Kg. Oh my master. The horn of the hoof is smooth. Horse's Prayer To thee. broad forehead. I offer my prayer My life and health I give to your safe keeping From you I ask food and water Shelter in winter and summer A kind hand and a quiet voice And when I am old And have served you well Pray. The legs are squarely placed. The neck is heavily muscled. heavily muscled and smooth hips and deep body.htm 5/5 . fits neatly at the shoulder and has slight crest.8/12/2011 Equines in India breed and vary in size and temperament. broad. The mules are usually produced for draft purposes. strength and a desirable slope. well filled heart girth. An ideal draft mule has long ears. with concave soles. The feet are durable. broad deep chest. wide and high at the heels.

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